Can you explain the feelings that Macbeth and Banquo have for each other after the first encounter with the three witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth?Please back up your answer with quotes.

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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When the witches prophesy to Macbeth, Banquo makes simple congratulatory comments. Then he immediately asks for his own prophecy. Banquo's first thought is a "what about me" question. He briefly comments on Macbeth's future successes. Then he asks for his own prophecy:

You greet my noble partner
With current grace and great predictions
Of having nobility and of the hope to be king,
that he seems carried away as well. Only you don’t speak to me.
If you can look into the future,
And say what will happen, and what will not,
Then speak to me,

This would indicate that Banquo is little envious of Macbeth. Macbeth has just received a great prophecy, and Banquo immediately desires his own prophecy. Banquo does not waste any time in asking the witches for his own prophetic word. He does not dwell on Macbeth's fascinating prophesy. He asks the witches to look in his future and tell him what will happen.

It appears that the witches' prophecies have slightly divided Macbeth and Banquo. As we learn later, this division will grow and lead to Banquo's murder.

 

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